Next of Kin : The Family in Chicano/a Cultural Politics, Paperback / softback Book

Next of Kin : The Family in Chicano/a Cultural Politics Paperback / softback

Part of the Latin America Otherwise series


As both an idea and an institution, the family has been at the heart of Chicano/a cultural politics since the Mexican American civil rights movement emerged in the late 1960s.

In Next of Kin, Richard T. Rodriguez explores the competing notions of la familia found in movement-inspired literature, film, video, music, painting, and other forms of cultural expression created by Chicano men.

Drawing on cultural studies and feminist and queer theory, he examines representations of the family that reflect and support a patriarchal, heteronormative nationalism as well as those that reconfigure kinship to encompass alternative forms of belonging.

Describing how la familia came to be adopted as an organizing strategy for communitarian politics, Rodriguez looks at foundational texts including Rodolfo Gonzales's well-known poem "I Am Joaquin," the Chicano Liberation Youth Conference's manifesto El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan, and Jose Armas's La Familia de La Raza.

Rodriguez analyzes representations of the family in the films I Am Joaquin, Yo Soy Chicano, and Chicana; the Los Angeles public affairs television series !Ahora!; the experimental videos of the artist-activist Harry Gamboa Jr.; and the work of hip-hop artists such as Kid Frost and Chicano Brotherhood.

He reflects on homophobia in Chicano nationalist thought, and examines how Chicano gay men have responded to it in works including Al Lujan's video S&M in the Hood, the paintings of Eugene Rodriguez, and a poem by the late activist Rodrigo Reyes.

Next of Kin is both a wide-ranging assessment of la familia's symbolic power and a hopeful call for a more inclusive cultural politics.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 272 pages, 17 illustrations
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Cultural studies
  • ISBN: 9780822345435

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